The bat used by Texas Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton during his torrid streak, which included a four homerun game against the Baltimore Orioles last week, finally broke in last night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The broken bat, however, did not die a futile death, as it will be featured in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in a section honoring Hamilton’s miraculous four homer game.
It’s a nice move by the MLB, who typically doesn’t “enshrine” a player’s equipment for any given reason until the player is enshrined themselves after the usual 10-year wait following the end of their career.
Josh Hamilton is on an absolute tear to start the 2012 season, batting .402 with 18 home runs and 44 runs batted in over the Rangers’ first 32 games. Obviously, Hamilton will not maintain this crazy pace during the “dog days of summer” in the Texas heat, but if he continues to stay on a solid pace during the long stretches, it’s highly possible he could take the first Triple Crown in the American League since Boston Red Sox slugger Carl Yazstremski in 1967.
What’s even more impressive about Hamilton’s start is his constant battle with sobriety and temptation with alcohol and other vices which have been ever-present since he entered the majors as the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999.
If Josh Hamilton continues to produce the way he has the past few seasons and can manage to keep his nose clean, the bat which was enshrined today won’t be the only item of Hamilton’s we will see in the halls at Cooperstown.